Greenhouses forum: Green houses made from old windows

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Jan 6, 2018 1:30 PM CST
All I'm seeing is plastic and PVC. I am looking for something more sustainable by reusing available materials and hoping not to contribute anymore plastic into the environment. Does anyone have any experience with this sort of structure? I want to hear about anything you may have learned so as to put it to good use. I have already acquired some windows off craigslist free pile. Thanks.
Name: Jim
Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6b)
Greenhouse Region: Pennsylvania
Jan 6, 2018 5:09 PM CST
To be quite frank, materials like double-wall polycarbonate are a much better for glazing than glass. It offers more insulation than double-paned glass, it prevents UV burning of plants, and it aids in growth by diffusing the sunlight. You can go the glass route, and I admire you for not wanting to contribute anymore plastic to the environment, but your plants will be more at risk and probably won't do as well. Most folks who use window glass these days know very little about greenhouse growing. They are either like you wanting to recycle or they think a greenhouse should be "clear". Please, no offense is intended here...but if you want a successful greenhouse, with abundant food, it might have to be a trade off for you.
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Jan 7, 2018 11:13 AM CST
harlan - if you want to proceed using the recycled windows, you can do an online search "recycled windows greenhouse" and get lots of hits. You could also use the windows for a cold frame. Without knowing your location, hard to make any additional comments.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
Jan 10, 2018 10:57 AM CST
I completely agree about the diffusion of light being beneficial to the plants; I wonder how it would work to lightly sandblast the glass windows to "etch" the glass. This is something I've never given any thought to until just now, but I think it would help prevent the extreme heating that would occur in a clear glass house. I have a sandblaster -- I might have to think about trying this on a small scale, such as a cold frame.

At any rate, @harlanmolly , whatever type of GH you decide on, be sure to allow for plenty of ventilation (more than you think you could possibly need would probably be about right). Smiling
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